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Meet Priyanshi Arya, The Newly-Elected JNU General Secretary

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 27, Mar 2024, 17:18 pm IST | UPDATED: 27, Mar 2024, 17:34 pm IST

Meet Priyanshi Arya, The Newly-Elected JNU General Secretary New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) witnessed a historic moment on March 22 as two Dalit students made significant strides in the recently concluded student union elections, bagging top posts after nearly three decades. Dhananjay, backed by the United Left Front, clinched the president's position, while Priyanshi Arya, representing the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), was elected as the general secretary.

Priyanshi Arya's remarkable journey to becoming the newly-elected general secretary of JNUSU sheds light on her humble beginnings and her dedication to education despite facing numerous challenges. Hailing from the town of Haldwani in Uttarakhand's Nainital district, Priyanshi's story resonates with determination and resilience. She is the oldest of three daughters raised in a middle-class family. Her mother, a primary school teacher, and her father, currently self-employed, instilled in her the values of education and social justice from a young age.

Priyanshi Arya's upbringing reflects the struggles faced by many from marginalized communities striving for higher education. She witnessed firsthand the repercussions of caste discrimination, with her father losing his job due to his lower-caste identity. These experiences fueled her passion for social work and advocacy for the Bahujan community.

Priyanshi Arya's narrative is intertwined with the challenges of caste discrimination that she encountered from a very young age. From facing prejudice within her own community to societal biases, her journey reflects the pervasive nature of casteism in Indian society. Despite these obstacles, Priyanshi remained undeterred in her pursuit of education and identity.

Priyanshi Arya's victory in the JNUSU elections signifies more than just a political win; she emerges as a beacon of hope for marginalized voices in higher education. Her association with BAPSA underscores her commitment to challenging the status quo and advocating for social justice. As the first-year PhD student pursuing Philosophy at JNU, her academic background reflects her dedication to intellectual inquiry and critical discourse.

In her new role as the general secretary, Priyanshi Arya aims to address pressing issues on campus, starting with reinstating an effective Gender Sensitisation Against Sexual Harassment program, which has been non-functional since the resumption of campus activities post the Covid-induced lockdown. Her proactive approach to promoting gender sensitivity underscores her commitment to creating a safer and more inclusive campus environment.

Priyanshi Arya's journey from a small town to the corridors of JNU exemplifies the transformative power of education and the resilience of individuals in the face of adversity. As she assumes her role as the general secretary, her story serves as inspiration for countless others striving for representation and equity in academic spaces. Her dedication to social justice and her vision for a more inclusive campus herald a new era of student leadership in JNU.